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Rum Diaries, Bondi

Rum Diaries can be found on the busy street of Bondi Road. I never knew this place existed as when it comes to dining at Bondi, I usually go to Bondi beach! But this was a great find and a true gem. It is a quirky and cute little place, I love the décor inside, the interior is dark and very intimate.

The chef behind the Rum Diaries is Gerald Touchard, he has been there since January this year. He has previously worked as pastry chef at Jena Georges’ restaurant Le Market in Paris, and sous chef at Pello Restaurant in Sydney and also sous chef for Sean Connolly’s Astral, also in Sydney.

The menu is for sharing, there is a degustation menu for those who are hungry and want to try a bit of everything. I came with my lovely brother, F, and thought we would go a la carte.

F started with a cocktail, and considering I couldn’t drink Sonny the bar tender kindly made me a mocktail – we don’t currently have a name for it, he suggested I come up with a name. It had all my favourite fruits – lime, organic apple and berries! Refreshing and deliciously sweet.

To start, tempura zucchini flower stuffed with haloumi, pine nuts and pomegranate vinaigrette ($11.50). Cut in halves, the zucchini flowers were absolutely delicious, the haloumi cheese was subtle and the pomegranate vinaigrette was a wonderful complement. This was a win win dish for the both of us as we both LOVE zucchini flowers.

Complements of the chef, we received a delicious chicken parfait which was served with crispy toasted bread. It is not yet on the menu at the time we dined, but we were told that it will be this week. The parfait was deliciously creamy and F wanted to lick the plate off! It was that good!

The crispy skin pork belly with tonka bean cloud, sour rhubarb puree and coriander gremolata ($18.50) was to die for! Crispy skin, the pork belly was incredibly tender and incredibly succulent. The sour rhubarb puree was a really nice touch! I could have easily eaten both pork belly on my own!

F couldn’t go past the wagyu rump of beef, pomme puree, heirloom carrots, watercress and smoked sea salt ($26.50) – the wagyu beef was cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfect! The pomme purees was creamy and love the dollops of watercress puree. This was a hearty dish, perfect for winter!

Next came the tenderly cooked duck with sauté wild mushrooms, autumn vegetables and mandarin jus ($31.50) and the duck was definitely tender. I loved the mandarin jus, and the crispy mandarin that were served with it.

The chickpea jenga tower with paprika aioli ($8.50) were like chips but healthier. It was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and I loved the paprika aioli!

We were getting full by this stage and thought about ordering one dessert. However, our lovely waitress and restaurant manager, Roberta suggested we get both!

The chocolate marquise, OP rum and allspice Chantilly with orange sparkle dust ($14.50) was quite a rich dessert, and perfect for chocolate lovers. It was dense and rich!

I love the orange sparkle dust.

The banana cream with smoked salt caramel, spiced pineapple tapioca and ginger beer jelly ($13.50) is a lighter dessert. I especially love the pineapple tapioca, and the smoked salt caramel well – who doesn’t like salt caramel?

Service was friendly and food was tremendous! Definitely a great find a true gem – wished I lived closer as this would definitely be my local! Can’t wait to take the parentals there in the next couple of weeks!

Thanks to Emily Sharpe from the Love Group and the rum diaries.

GA dined as a guest of Love group and Rum diaries

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Rum Diaries

288 Bondi Road

Bondi 2026

Ph: +61 2 9300 0440

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Beach, food, sun… bondi

The weather the past couple of days have been absolutely perfect – warm, sunny beach weather. It certainly has been a while since I went to the beach! Not only that, but I have somehow forgotten how to apply sun screen! I am embarrassed to say that I have various patches of redness – it really is rather unattractive!

I caught up with an old colleague one day at Bondi. I rarely go to Bondi especially in summer. Parking is horrendous and well there are many good restaurants in Surry Hills that I don’t *really* need to venture all the way to Bondi! However, on this glorious sunny day, I caught up with D for lunch. D suggested Bondi Blue, on the main road of Campbell Parade. We originally wanted some eggs or some sort of breakfast, but realized that it was midday and they no longer served breakfast. However, we were too comfortable to move, so opted for lunch instead.

We started with coffee, unfortunately my coffee was luke warm – it wasn’t hot enough! I really can’t stand luke warm coffee!

We both had the fish and chips ($15.90) with aioli. I seem to order fish and chips whenever I go to the beach, and not quite understand what the fascination is. It was a generous serving, however, I thought the fish was a little on the thin side. Both batter and fish was thin. I usually prefer a thicker ‘slab’ of fish, the batter was rather moist and not crispy. It was good but not the best I have eaten. The chips however, were crispy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside and eaten with tomato sauce – was perfect.

I do love the open area, doors were open to let the cool breeze in, and if there aren’t any table inside, there are tables on the pathways. D and I sat there chatting, catching up and talking about life in 2011 before we went to the beach for a little of sun tanning.

Check out the perfect blue sky – not a cloud in the sky. It was definitely perfect beach water.

The next day, I was catching up with a friend, F, from Hong Kong, who was in town for Christmas and New Year. She has been dying to go to the beach and wanted to ‘top up’ her tan! It was another glorious day, and we sat in the sun for a couple of hours sun bathing.

You would think sitting under the sun would be relaxing and non strenuous. However, I was starved! We caught up with S also, another friend of mine and he suggested we go to Bondi Trio. It was a little on the ‘up market’ side and quite trendy. The menu is quite extensive, and I couldn’t decide what I wanted – which is really not a surprise.

I couldn’t go pass the trio frappe ($7) – lemonade and mint – it was refreshing, however, if you don’t like mint, then you won’t like this drink. It was rather minty but satisfying, especially on a hot day!

I opted for the Boss Eggs ($20.50) – scrambled eggs with feta and truffle oil – it had me at truffle oil, and was served with avocado, and prosciutto. All my favourite breakfast items on the one plate. The scrambled eggs were fluffy and moist, the avocado was perfectly ripe and the prosciutto – oh I love prosciutto. The combination of the flavours was just excellent and exactly what I needed!

F on the other hand, ordered the eggs benedict with smoked salmon ($17.50). It looked good, however, I didn’t ask if I could try some as I was perfectly happy with my truffle oil scrambled eggs! F devoured this, so I can assume that she enjoyed it.

F and I were the only two out of five people eating – no guessing that the boys weren’t eating! They had beers whilst we stuffed ourselves with food – clearly nothing has changed.

It was a wonderful afternoon! I am a little browner, albeit patchy! Have not seen my Mum, as I know she will comment on how ‘dark’ I look!

Hope you all managed to spend some time at the beach!

Bondi Blue, GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10

74 – 76 Campbell Parade

Bondi Beach, 2026

Ph: +61 2 9130 3236

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Bondi Trio, GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

56 Campbell Parade

Bondi Beach, 2026

Ph: +61 2 9365 6044

Trio on Urbanspoon

The feast before the wedding…

As some of you know, my brother got married over the weekend. We have had loads of visitors, mainly from Indonesia for the big event. The past few days I have eaten so much food that could probably feed a whole army, maybe more.

Day 1, we all went to hurricanes, 24 of us – just family. We all rocked up at the Hurricanes in Bondi Beach – a place I haven’t visited for such a long time ever since the Darling Harbour branch opened. As much I love going to Bondi, parking is a nightmare. However, that day, four cars all made it to Bondi safely to enjoy the feast.

We ordered about 14 racks of full pork ribs – yes, that’s right, you heard me, 14! I was going to take a photo of all the 14 plates of full rack ribs on the table, unfortunately, they all came at different times, and everyone was hungry and before I could say wait, they were all digging in!

This place really doesn’t require any introduction. It has been around for such a long time, it is a must try for those who has never been. We take all our visitors here, and they even ask to go back. Hurricanes are famous for their ribs, pork, beef or lamb. Believe it or not, I have only tried the pork ribs!

The ribs that night I thought was a little on the ‘lean’ side. It wasn’t as meaty as my last visit. However, the sauce, is still simply outstanding! I love the smoky, charcoal flavour and even though the ribs were on the ‘lean’ side, it was still tender, and succulent. I was definitely in pork ribs heaven – ooo how I have missed you pork ribs! It was absolutely satisfying!

The Mediterranean Salad is something I get occasionally, served with kalamata olives, feta cheese, capsicum and their Mediterranean dressing. It’s deliciously refreshing, the feta cheese is soft and cheesy, a great addition to the salad.

Another salad I do like is the char-grilled chicken salad, served with honey soaked walnuts and honey vinaigrette dressing. The char-grilled chicken I thought was a little on the tough and dry side. The honey soaked walnuts, however, were just to die for! Dad and I were fighting for these delicious, crunchy, chewy, walnuts – I will need to buy a jar of these!

It is still one of the best ribs I have had. If you are not a huge fan of ribs, they do have steaks, seafood, and burgers. Not a lot of options for Vegetarians though, a veggie burger and a vegetarian platter.

We didn’t have dessert at Hurricanes, my cousin, W, planted the idea of deep fried mars bars in our heads. I have not had one in such a long time that I too couldn’t get the thought out of my head!

So we went on a hunt, and saw this outside one of the seafood stores ‘world famous deep fried mars bars’. I remember when I first heard of these, I HAD to have one, so made my brother drive me. I can’t believe ‘The Mother’ has never had one before!

For those who haven’t eaten a deep fried mars bar, it is just an ordinary mars bars which is lightly battered, then deep fried and then sprinkled with sugar.

The batter was beautifully light, crispy and sealed the chocolate so none of it oozed out. That first bitte is truly magical – a lovely mix of savoury and sweet. The mars bar doesn’t melt but the inside, the caramel melts and it’s deliciously chewy like a marshmallow. It is sickly sweet, I felt like my arteries were about to burst and cholesterol sky rocket but it was good! Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish a whole deep fried mars bar on my own. ‘The Mother’ loved it, and managed to finish one!

Day 2: the night before my baby bro’s big day, we had a feast at my parents (in Indonesian it’s called ‘syukuran’) and believe me when I say it was a feast! Check out the photo below.

Meet pigsy, poor pig – mum didn’t make this, we bought it from our local Chinese bbq place in Eastwood. There is an old wife’s tale that if you eat the pig’s tail you will find a partner to marry. Apparently, at my ‘syukuran’ F ate the pig’s tail and three years later, he got married! We made my sister-in-law’s brother eat it, as they want him to get married.

Back to piggy – the suckling pig was incredible! Delicious, thin and crispy skin with a slitter of fat. The meat itself was tender and succulent, I couldn’t help but get a generous serving of this on my plate, it was THAT good! But then again, I am a sucker for pork! Here is what happened to piggy after it was cut and chopped! It was scrumptiously good. Please note the below is NOT what I had on my plate! I am not that greedy!

Lemper ayam – glutinous chicken was as good as those from Indonesia. My mother’s friend made these, and they were superb. The rice was gooey, and the chicken boiled, sweet and a little on the salty nice. The flavours of sweet and salty was just perfect.

Perkedel – potato croquette, which consist of potatoes, spam, and deep fried. This is one of my weakness, I love perkedel, especially when they are warm. Unfortunately mum didn’t make these, her perkedel tastes SO much better! I will make them one day so I can post recipe up.

Nasi kuning an Indonesian rice dish, in a cone called tumpeng and is eaten during special events. The rice had a nice coconut and turmeric flavouring. It was tasty, especially eaten with perkedel – talk about carb overload!

The fried noodles – for long life and prosperity – were delicious. The noodles were tender and the chicken, prawns, beef were a great complement.

Traditional Indonesian soup – sop merah. It is basically a tomato-based soup with any meat you want, in this case, we used sausages, spam, chicken and corned beef plus potatoes, celery, carrots, onions and garlic. I like my sop merah a little on the sour side, however, not many people do, so this was a little on the sweet side. The soup burst with flavours, especially the combination of all the meat. I grew up with this soup when I was a child, so absolutely love it! Again, a must make one day, especially in winter.

Sambal goreng kentang – spicy potato crisps. A very spicy side-dish or snack made from potatoes, mixed with onion, garlic, beef and prawns. Can also be made with chicken liver but this one is beef and prawns. It was delectably spicy, enough that it didn’t burn your mouth.

My favourite, mum’s beef rendang. Fantastic as always – tender, succulent, juicy beef with a kick of spiciness.

Bakso goreng – deep fried pork balls, which were purchased from Pinanggsia Noodle Restaurant in Kingsford was a hit! It was gone within minutes. They were crispy, meaty, and frigging awesome! I really could have eaten three on my own. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of this, it was a HIT!

Last but not least, chicken wings marinated in honey and soy sauce. The chicken wings were succulent and too easy to eat and to stop at just one.

It really isn’t an Indonesian wedding or get together without the famous tehbotol, jasmine tea. This is one of my favourite drinks, it’s SOOOO refreshing! I do prefer to drink it out of a bottle though, the box is just not the same.

Of course there were wine and beers, we ate and drank the night away. I can’t believe that it was three years ago that I had my own syukuran, and now it’s my baby bros!! I love family gatherings, and weddings – so much food and love by all!

Hurricanes Bar and Grill

GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10

130 Roscoe Street

Bondi, 2026

Ph: +61 2 9130 7101

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